Editor's Choice

Matter 1.2 adds new capabilities

22 November 2023 Editor's Choice Telecoms, Datacoms, Wireless, IoT

The Matter protocol was designed to unify smart home devices by leveraging existing IP technologies, like Wi-Fi and Thread, to establish a new open standard. Matter 1.2, released by the Connectivity Standards Alliance, marks the second round of updates to the Matter protocol since its initial release in fall of 2022.

This update introduces new device types and expands the reach of Matter into new markets, while also bringing other improvements that enhance interoperability and user experience.

This release expands device types to include white goods, fans, robot vacuums, and air quality control. The new Matter device types include:

• Washing machines.

• Refrigerators.

• Dishwashers.

• Room air conditioners.

• Robotic vacuum cleaners.

• Air quality sensors.

• Air purifiers.

• Smoke/CO alarms.

• Fan control.

Some of these devices are not addressed by existing protocols to date. However, many tend to be Wi-Fi-enabled, but often have limited ecosystem support and require proprietary app control. With support in Matter 1.2, manufacturers can simplify the user experience – including commissioning – while enabling integration into key smart home ecosystems.

In addition to the new device types, Matter 1.2 adds new features that improve the user experience for commissioning to better describe the product or its elements. For example, a door lock could be described in a Matter Controller’s UI as having a chrome finish, to help the user identify which one they are interacting with.

Wi-Fi 6 is playing an increasingly important role in IoT devices, with a focus on not only increasing bandwidth, but also supporting larger networks. Wi-Fi 6 also focusses on battery-based devices that may not require high bandwidth, but need long battery life, as an increasing number of wireless IoT devices are battery operated. With Wi-Fi being ubiquitous, and with its latest versions and security offerings, the combination of Matter over Wi-Fi provides tangible benefits to users by ensuring that they will have a more seamless experience across various product types and applications.

Soon, developers will be able to use Silicon Labs’ latest IoT-optimised Wi-Fi offering, the SiWx917, which combines the latest Wi-Fi 6 protocol with Bluetooth LE networking and Matter, along with ultra-low power capabilities to achieve longest battery life, best-in-class security, and AI/ML accelerators in a single SoC. This will enable developers to design Matter products that can support a multitude of applications across various market segments, whether it be smart home, commercial, smart cities, industrial or health.


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